Construction Code Office

8/31/2007 Update:

The plot thickens in the state criminal investigation of Hoboken Construction Code Official Al Arezzo. The Jersey Journal’s Jarrett Renshaw reports the state Attorney General’s Office issued a subpoena for records from Weehawken’s Building Department to turn over documents related to its oversight of construction projects in neighboring Hoboken dating back to 1990. The Weehawken subpoena came a day after two officers from the State Police’s Organized Crime Unit made a surprise visit to Hoboken City Hall, issuing several subpoenas and leaving with scores of documents.

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The AG’s Office has convened a grand jury as part of its ongoing investigation of Arezzo’s personal relationships and business dealings. The state Department of Community Affairs is also conducting an investigation of Arezzo, and the agency issued subpoenas to Hoboken earlier this year and also visited Weehawken to interview Building Department employees, several sources said.

Arezzo asks the Weehawken’s Building Department to oversee projects where he has a financial interest in order to avoid conflicts of interest. However, when he looks to Weehawken for a conflict-free procedure, what he gets is his old buddy Frank Tattoli. Now, you say the name Tattoli is familiar? That’s because Frank is the brother of Hoboken plumber/developer Danny Tattoli, who is building the “new” Clam Broth House. Renshaw’s article says:

Weehawken’s top construction code official, Frank Tattoli, said yesterday that he inspected “three or four” of Arezzo’s projects in recent years, mentioning a property on the 600 block of Willow Avenue as an example before declining to provide the other addresses. Tattoli, a lifelong plumber, and his family have business ties in Hoboken, but Tattoli said yesterday that he stopped his “personal involvement” with his family’s business in 2001, shortly after he took the job in Weehawken. However, Tattoli and his two brothers still own two rental properties in Hoboken, one on the 200 block of Park Avenue and the other on the 400 block of Jefferson Street, according to his financial disclosure statement.

The subpoena seeks records dating back more than 10 years before Tattoli was employed by Weehawken, as well as from a number of different offices, such as the Fire and Health departments, city officials noted. Developer Danny Tattoli, Frank Tattoli’s brother, received a subpoena earlier this week, according to Danny Tattoli’s attorney, William Dimin. The Attorney General’s Office requested documents related to Danny Tattoli’s purchase of a vacant lot at 74-76 Monroe St., Dimin said.
Real estate records show that Danny Tattoli purchased the vacant property in 2003 for $1.1 million from a limited-liability company called Triple Minga, whose partners include Arezzo.

Roughly eight months earlier, Arezzo and his partners had purchased the vacant property for less than $200,000, records show. Tattoli eventually constructed nine condo units on the property. Dimin said the sale was completely “legit” and that his client plans to fully cooperate with the subpoena. Dimin said his client was not even aware that Arezzo was one of the sellers, characterizing the sale as an “arms-length transaction.”

Danny Tattoli is one of the members of Arezzo’s “crew” of local developers and contractors who hang with him at the Four L’s. He was one of several Arezzo supporters who showed up at the Special City Council meeting this month to cheer him on as he stood toe-to-toe with Mayor Roberts over the opening and closing of the wall at the Maxwell Place lawn. Now people are wondering how many other members of Arezzo’s crew got subpoenas. They are a tight-knit group who stick close to the man who can insure their projects get approvals fast for maximum profit, while others who are not in “the crew” wait for permits and inspections, and often have to face the famous Arezzo temper.

8/28/2007 Update:

It was reported by Jersey Journal reporter Jarrett Renshaw that the NJ State Police Organized Crime Unit seized documents from Al “King of Delays” Arezzo’s office yesterday. He also said that he was told that a grand jury has been put together as part of this investigation.

None of this, however, was confirmed or denied by any officials questioned, but rather given to him by “sources”.

Anyone surprised?

3/15/2007 Update:

Investigation now upgraded to “criminal”. More from NJ.com (Jersey Journal):

Arezzo target of state probe

Thursday, March 15, 2007
By JARRETT RENSHAW
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

HOBOKEN – The state is conducting a criminal investigation of the city’s top construction official centering on his involvement in a number of properties and his close ties with a number of contractors.

The criminal investigation of Construction Code Official Al Arezzo comes at the same time as an ethics investigation of him by the state Department of Community Affairs focusing on similar issues.

Mayor David Roberts said yesterday that he has also launched an “internal review” of Arezzo following stories in The Jersey Journal about his interest in property leased by the Police Department for its horse stables. That review will be conducted by an assistant city attorney, said city spokesman Bill Campbell.

Sources inside and outside City Hall say they were questioned by New Jersey State Police officers operating under the direction of the state Attorney General’s Office.

The investigators wanted to know more about Arezzo’s previous and current property interests, along with his relationship with a group of plumbers, painters and other contractors in town, sources told The Jersey Journal. The Attorney General’s Office would not confirm or deny any investigation.

Asked yesterday if he was interviewed by criminal investigators, Arezzo replied, “No comment.”

Arezzo owns – or is a partner in – a number of properties in Hoboken, including the Newark Street property where the police horses are kept.

Arezzo, along with part-time city attorney Vincent Lapaglia and developer Pino Morin, who is one of the owners of Hoboken T&M Contracting, are partners in the limited liability company that owns that property.

The city pays Arezzo and his partners $1,000 a month in rent, plus the city pays the company’s property taxes and water and sewer bills, which combined is roughly $3,000 a month.

A memo from the city’s zoning office shows that Zoning Officer Joel Mestre issued a “one-year temporary use certificate” to the property in July 2004, since the horse stables were not compatible with the zoning requirements.

The certificate was not renewed after it expired in 2005, meaning the horse stable is currently not in compliance with zoning requirements.

Also, in late 2003 and early 2004, Arezzo paid nearly $10,000 less than market value for two parking spots at 1313 Park Ave., according to property records.

In the months before the sale, Arezzo inspected the property and signed off on a number of permits, according to a review of city records. As the city’s top construction code official, he inspects and approves permits on hundreds of projects each year.

Arezzo, who does not live at 1313 Park Ave., said he was unaware of the discount.

In order to avoid potential conflicts of interest, Arezzo previously said he uses outside inspectors on his properties.

But a Jersey Journal review of city records shows that the office only used an outside inspector for a two-month period during the past five years, when the city’s elevator inspector was on vacation.

More below…

2/26/2007 Update:

Another update from NJ.com:

Investigation centers on official, horse stable

By JARRETT RENSHAW
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

HOBOKEN – A state investigation into the city’s top construction code official centers on his interest in a property along Newark Street that serves as a stable for the police horse unit.

Real estate and business records show that 611-619 Newark St. is owned by a limited liability company whose partners include Hoboken Construction Code official Al Arezzo, part-time city attorney Vincent Lapaglia and Pino Morin.

The police department has been using the space as a temporary stable for the past three years, after it had to vacate the previous site at the old Maxwell Coffee factory in order to make room for luxury condos.

The city pays the company roughly $3,000 a month, according to city officials. Police Chief Carmen LaBruno said the department began using the stables in 2004 and did not pay anything for the first 11 months.

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The state Division of Community Affairs recently requested documents from the city’s construction office related to the property as part of an ongoing investigation.

The state’s ethics law forbids city employees from having “an interest in a business organization . which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his duties in the public interest.”

Arezzo said he saw no ethical problems with his company entering into a contract with the city, saying “my partner is an attorney, and he would have told me otherwise.”

In addition, Arezzo said he has never inspected the property since buying an interest in the company around 2004.

Lapaglia did not return several phone calls to his Hoboken law office.

Mayor David Roberts refused to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

LaBruno said the contract was negotiated through the city’s Law Department, adding that he believed Arezzo stayed “an arm’s length” from any negotiations.

“We needed a spot pretty quickly, and this space was available,” said LaBruno, adding that the department is now looking for a more permanent location.

A city spokesman, Bill Campbell, did not return phone calls Friday seeking more details on the negotiations between the Law Department and the company, which lists Lapaglia as a “managing” partner.

Arezzo has not filed a financial disclosure statement but state records show he owns several other properties in the city, mostly in the form of limited liability companies.

He says the city’s Law Department advised him that a state law enacted in 1999 invalidates a city code that specifically requires him to file a statement.

More below…

1/23/2007:
Another domino falls!

From NJ.com:

Documents seized from Hoboken construction code office

Hoboken’s Construction Code official, Alfred Arezzo, is under investigation by the state Department of Community Affairs, according to several sources.

Investigators from the DCA took a number of documents from the city’s construction office two weeks ago. However, the nature of the investigation remains unclear.

Calls to Arezzo, the DCA and Mayor David Roberts’ office were not immediately returned today.

Sources: Hoboken code official target of state probe

Hoboken’s Construction Code official, Alfred Arezzo, is under investigation by the state Department of Community Affairs, according to several sources.

Investigators from the DCA seized a number of documents from the city’s construction office two weeks ago. However, the nature of the investigation remains unclear.

Former Business Administrator George Crimmins, now a consultant to Stevens Institute of Technology, confirmed that he filed an ethics complaint against Arrezo with the DCA in October but refused to provide any details.

Crimmins was also recently selected as the executive director of the newly-created Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority, which will oversee St. Mary Hospital after it is turned over to the city and becomes Hoboken University Medical Center.

Calls to the DCA were not immediately returned today.

Mayor David Roberts said he was aware of the investigation but refused to comment further. Officials from the DCA and Arezzo did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

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244 Comments on "Construction Code Office"


mooshu
Member
mooshu
4 years 6 months ago

Sackman is clearly one of those bitter members of his generation that will probably croak not too far off in the future.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming…

Stabone130
Member
8 years 1 month ago

Any update on the investigation of Al?

sackman
Member
sackman
4 years 6 months ago

the city is facing its final curtain…as Sinatra once sang “the end is near” they have nothing all this time they were trying to cover their mistakes with there case against Arezzo, just over a year…the only thing they have is a judge who is in their camp for other reasons that will be proven why it’s taken this long with no proven guilt against Arezzo…this will be the demise of this yuppie liberal mayor zimmer & her corrupt office & officials…her end is nearing @ a big cost to tax payers![quote comment=”97472″]Any update on the investigation of Al?[/quote]

homeworld
Member
8 years 6 months ago

[quote comment=”71062″]What makes me laugh is that most people on here who complain about Al Arezzo have a minor gripe or some secret agenda. The people who are investigating him are the one who should be subponead and have all of their files checked. The local Government are the ones who should be investigated not the Buildings Department. If you take a part each local government and actually had an accountant come in and do an independent audit you would find corruption everywhere. This is just one of those cases where someone higher up got pissed off and decided to “do something”
Public Officials are a joke. If not Ron Paul than I hope Obama. We really do need to get rid of all of the crap in our Government. It needs a major overhaul. We need to start fresh. Al Arezzo is not the problem it is the people who allowed these things to go on and only decided to do something because they had a hissy fit.[/quote]

I disagree with everything you said, except for the Ron Paul part.

hobokenelite
Member
hobokenelite
8 years 6 months ago

What makes me laugh is that most people on here who complain about Al Arezzo have a minor gripe or some secret agenda. The people who are investigating him are the one who should be subponead and have all of their files checked. The local Government are the ones who should be investigated not the Buildings Department. If you take a part each local government and actually had an accountant come in and do an independent audit you would find corruption everywhere. This is just one of those cases where someone higher up got pissed off and decided to “do something”
Public Officials are a joke. If not Ron Paul than I hope Obama. We really do need to get rid of all of the crap in our Government. It needs a major overhaul. We need to start fresh. Al Arezzo is not the problem it is the people who allowed these things to go on and only decided to do something because they had a hissy fit.

HomeTeam
Member
HomeTeam
8 years 7 months ago

[quote comment=”63547″]Gotta be honest, I called the office this morning due to a construction site next door pouring concrete and throwing debris onto my patio (including a piece of rebar that hurtled down 4 floors onto my pation, almost shattering the glass door this morning). The woman who answered was pleasant and I got a call back two hours later informing me that he had visited the site, confirmed the problem and that if it is not cleaned up tomorrow I should call.

We all give the town hell, but when they do their jobs well, they deserve to get a little credit.[/quote]

Well I have learned my lesson! Not only will they not return my calls at the office now, but the debris “dumping” has doubled. Now I have to file complaints with the state and I guess OSHA

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